Education department ‘urgently dealing’ with overcrowded school

2013-01-29 15:13

The department of education in the Eastern Cape said today it was dealing urgently with problems faced by Meyisi Senior Secondary School in Flagstaff where 153 learners share one classroom.

This follows a City Press report on Sunday, where it was revealed that the Eastern Cape battled with a shortage of teachers for its 800 learners. The school had only nine permanent teachers and two temporary teachers.

The school also has no library or science laboratory. Learners have to share single desks and three learners sit sharing two chairs.

Loyiso Pulumani, provincial education spokesperson, said the department’s chief financial officer had since prioritised the school and instructed the Lusikisiki district office, which Meyisi falls under, to get furniture for the school urgently.

“The district officials in Lusikisiki have been instructed to procure furniture for the school immediately,” Pulumani said.

The department disputed that there was infrastructure shortage at the school or overcrowding, but admitted that there were teacher shortages that were currently being addressed.

“The only issue affecting the school is unfilled teacher posts, not infrastructure shortage,” the department said in a statement.

Edmund van Vuuren, DA shadow MEC for education, said overcrowding in Eastern Cape schools was common.

He blamed the department’s refusal to extend contracts of temporary teachers in the province as the root cause of the problem.

He called on Premier Noxolo Kiviet to urgently intervene and compel the education department to immediately extend contracts of temporary teachers.

Sadtu deputy secretary Nolitha Mboniswa said this confirmed their long-held assertion that there was a huge shortage of teachers in the province.

“Almost all the schools in the province have the same problem. It’s too glaring for a high school to have 800 learners and only 11 teachers. There is purely no education in this province,” Mboniswa said.

Pulumani said when Meyisi was reconstructed and refurbished by the department in 2008, it had 12 classrooms, an administration block, toilets, electrical installation, a computer room, assembly area and other supporting facilities. He could not say whether the school had the capacity to accommodate 800 learners.

The total budget for the construction of the school was R7 million.

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